Current and Proposed Supercomputer Architectures
Architectural Approach Description Advantages Main Proponents
Commodity clusters (operational) Hundreds or thousands of off-the-shelf servers with low-bandwidth links Low-cost contruction; efficient with problems that can be broken into chunks Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Silicon Graphics
Vector computing (operational) Hundreds of custom-built orocessors with high-bandwidth connectors More time spent computing, less time communicating Cray, NEC
Streaming (experimental) Intermediary values of calculations stored in local memory Speed; on-chip data transfer for reducing the “memory bottleneck” Stanford University
Processor-in-memory (experimental) Processing circuits and short-term memory interspersed on the same chip Speed; shorter distance between processors and memory University of Southern California, Caltech, IBM
Cascade (experimental) Data, rather than software, held in processor’s local memory Fewer calls to memory in cases where data sets are larger than programs Cray, Caltech